Spring Breakout performance confirms Angels have long road ahead

There's work to be done.

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Caden Dana (91) pitches
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Caden Dana (91) pitches / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Spring Breakout was a success. Major League Baseball's latest attempt to get more eyeballs on the sport saw some of the best young talent in the game take the field this past week for the inaugural event.

Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Angels and their fanbase, the festivities may have revealed one of the biggest issues that has plagued the franchise for what feels like the past decade.

The Angels' top prospects were run off the diamond courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Halos young core managed just one run over the seven-inning affair. The Angels' 8-1 defeat at the hands of the Dodgers during MLB Spring Breakout is further proof that GM Perry Minasian has a lot of work to do in order to rebuild the farm system.

Spring Breakout performance confirms LA Angels have long road ahead

According to MLB Pipeline, the Angels have just one Top 100 prospect. Nolan Schanuel, who'll graduate from prospect status about a month after the 2024 season begins, is the highest-ranked prospect in the Angels farm system at the moment.

Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required) shares the same opinion when it comes to the young players in the Angels organization. While both Law and MLB Pipeline have high regard for Nelson Rada, the Angels top outfield prospect does not crack the Top 100.

When it comes to drafting players, the Angels have missed the mark lately. While it's much too soon to make a judgment with regards to Schanuel and Zach Neto, the rapid ascension through the Halos' farm system would suggest a lack of direction on the part of LA's front office.

It's obvious to almost every Angels fan that the quick promotion of both Schanuel and Neto was a desperate attempt to go "all-in" while Shohei Ohtani was still with the team. Though both Schanuel and Neto were advanced hitters coming out of college, most young prospects need at least two years in order to gain the proper development in the minors before making the jump to The Show.

The LA Angels' recent first-round draft picks have failed to impress

The Angels were without a first-round draft pick in 2012 and 2013, but the majority of first-rounders since have been underwhelming. Matt Thaiss (2016), Jo Adell (2017), Jordyn Adams (2018), and Will Wilson (2019) have fallen woefully short of expectations. The jury is still out on Reid Detmers and Sam Bachman.

For reference, players like Will Smith, Shane Baz, Triston Casas, and Corbin Carroll were all available, had the Angels' scouting department been a bit more diligent with their pre-draft evaluations.

But it does no good to look in the rear view mirror, Angels fans. While it may look bleak at the moment, the Angels did get two scoreless innings from Caden Dana during the MLB Spring Breakout game, and Rada went 1-for-3 with a stolen base.

There's a lot of work left to be done in order for the Angels to restock a rather poorly constructed farm system. Good drafting and some shrewd trades could help accelerate LA's rebuild, but this isn't an issue that can be fixed overnight. Angels fans won't want to hear this, but rebuilding a farm system takes time.

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